Monday, August 30, 2010

A Weekend of Emoting

I cried more this weekend than I have in a long time. My dad calls this emoting. I think it's a funny word so I'm using it to balance the melancholy that is about to come forth. My dad seems like your typical Texas outdoorsman. You might even call someone like him a redneck. His neck is, in fact, at all times red. But he has a very tender heart and he is one of my favorite people to talk when I'm in the state of emoting. He would have been a great therapist. But he is not here right now and the blog is, so here we go.

A) I watched a program called Hurricane Katrina: The First Five Days. It was absolutely horrifying to see what those people stranded in the convention center and Superdome endured for five days. They had no food, water, sanitation, information, or deliverance. It is incomprehensible that that kind of suffering and indignity could happen here in America. Not to mention the enormous loss of life in the Ninth Ward and elsewhere.

B) My childhood best friend, Molly, would have turned 30 years old last week. I'm friends with her sister on FB and she was posting old pictures in honor of that day. I completely lost it. Her mom and sister had a little birthday dinner in her honor this weekend. I wasn't there, but I spent some time thinking about this dear friend that I have missed so much. I hate death.

C) On Saturday night I got to visit an old friend from high school, D.D. He was a good friend of mine and a really godly guy. We were voted "most down to earth" of our senior class and have a picture together in the yearbook. Anyway, about two weeks after college started D.D. was in a terrible car accident that left him with a brain injury. My friend lost his short term memory, which is one of the most precious things we have. He remembers everything before the accident but very little after. He keeps all the details of his life and each day written down in a planner so that he can refer back to it. By the time he went to bed that night he probably didn't remember that we had seen each other. Definitely not by morning. It is so terribly heartbreaking.

I will admit to you that I could have been a much better friend to him through the years. It's so painful to see his suffering. I know how selfish that is and I need to get over it. To be honest with you, I don't like the feelings I have toward God when see my friend. Why, God, would you let this happen to someone who was so faithful to you? I have to think of the eternal reward D.D. will experience one day.

Do you know what brings me to my knees? The way D.D. comes to life when he talks about Christ. The way his eyes light up and his voice gets louder. He may have been slowed down or stopped in every other area of life, but when it comes to his passion for Christ, he is strong. He has joy.

The time I spent visiting with D.D. and his mom stayed with me through the night. When I would turn over in my bed, those conversations were still playing in my mind. The next morning I cried through my quiet time as I both wrestled with God over this and thanked Him for His faithfulness.

D) I had a bit of a meltdown this morning over our Compassion trip. The anxiety was building in my chest and I felt like I couldn't breathe. It wasn't about leaving or missing my kids. It wasn't about being in another country. It wasn't about what I'm going to pack or what I'm going to see or who I'm going to meet. It wasn't about what I'm going to say or who is going to sponsor a child. I have peace about these things. I was drowning in anxiety because I am leaving the three people dearest to me and I cannot control how safe they are while I'm gone. I know, I know. Whatever you are saying to me right now, I already know it. I'm just telling you what I know to be the true root of my anxiety. My greatest fear is that my whole family will be taken from me. I have been known to go to great lengths to prevent them from being in a vehicle without me. Of course, that can't always be avoided. When it happens, I always have to fight that wave that wants to crush me.

This is the truth I have to speak to my heart: if something happens to my family and they all die, leaving me here alone, I have to know that it was God's will for them. It would not have been because I didn't do a good enough job worrying or trying to control their destiny. I am truly helpless to keep them safe, whether I am here or in Guatemala. And I have to surrender this to God.

It's just not enough to say, "Oh Lord, I know you won't let ____ happen." Look those people in New Orleans. Look at Molly. Look at D.D. Suffering surrounds us in some form at all times. I will be looking extreme poverty square in the face next week. As my mom says in So Long Insecurity, I have to think about how God would be faithful to me through the disaster. I have to take the thought full circle - beyond the imagined catastrophe and into the grace that He would provide. This is when I can recall the joy and hope of Christ that I see in my dear D.D., who has been through so much, and know that God's love and faithfulness are real.

Psalm 145

1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.

2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.

4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.

5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.

7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.

11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,

12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.

14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.

16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.

18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.



63 comments:

Kristen said...

Deep thoughts this weekend, my friend. Praying for your trip and for your family that you are leaving behind.

aprilswafford said...

Amanda,I so many times read your blog and feel as if we are living parallel lives, the things that God has us wrestling with??? So wish that I could sit across from you and hash it all out together and still know that at the end of our time, no matter what was said, that we would both be fully devoted to our Savior! Thanks for being real and not throwing out that horrid "God won't put on you anymore than you can bear". Heaven help. If I have heard this once, I have heard this LIE a thousand times. May we hurt with those that hurt.

Big Mama said...

As someone who spent a good part of last week in tears, I can totally relate to so much of this. Love your heart.

Cheri-Beri said...

"I cannot control how safe they are while I'm gone."

I'm sorry, did you read a page out of my journal?? I am sooooooooo with you on this one. My kids are 12 and almost 15 and this still gets me. I have GOT to get it under control - finally let Jesus have His way with my fear! If I don't, what a wreck I'll be when they go off to college.

You're in my prayers, sweet one.

Christina said...

Amanda-
I too fear that my whole family will be taken from me...And as a RN I have seen things like this happen, so I can't tell myself that it would never befall me. Your mom talked on overcoming fear by surrendering everything to God on one of the Esther videos and it really spoke to my heart; for a long time as a Christian I felt guilty for even having these fears, or I felt wrongly superstitious that if I somehow stopped fearing that bad things would come to pass because I hadn't feared enough! How crazy- but how easily Satan twists our love for others into fear!
Sorry for the rambling comment- but thank you for sharing your heart and being open with your feelings. You and your mom have both helped me direct my eyes to God concerning this area of my life.

Lauren said...

You have one beautiful heart, Amanda!!! Praying for all these needs you have shared with us!! We love you! :)

Kathy W said...

I went through a phase like this for a while until one day I was praying, "Lord, Keep so-and-so safe when I'm not there to look after him/her." And the Lord said back to me, "YOU can't keep them safe even when you are with them!" It was a real revelation. Just think of all the times your toddler has fallen and hit his/her head when you WERE right there...We are all ONLY safe in the middle of God's will and plans and in the palm of his hand.

Been there, done that,

Kathy W

Hayley said...

My lack of control over the safety of my family is something I struggle with daily. Especially as two headed off to school last week (Kinder and first grade). It's the worst feeling. I feel for you and totally hear you on this one!!

Kiki said...

I have to remind myself often that God has my families days numbered and that there isn't a stinkin thing I can do to alter that number. I can't lengthen it or shorten it. He is in control.

That's hard to swallow sometimes and comforting at others.

Love you friend. You are not alone.

Julie Marler (Mammy) said...

I can so relate to where you are right now. I, too, was so there when my kids were little, when my kids were high schoolers, when my kids were off to college. Now they are all married and are truly totally out of my control. The worrying is so much better now. But I sometimes look back on the times when they were younger and I get mad that I let the enemy rob me of the joy I could have had more often. I have "finally" come to the place where I KNOW that God will provide me with all His peace and understanding if such a time of tragedy were to happen. Not now - but "if" those times ever did or ever do happen - we have to be confident that God will wrap His arms around us and carry us through.

On the other side now....it is so much easier for me to sound so "sure" of myself (since nothing bad ever happened!). But I certainly understand right where you are. My encouragement would be to ask God to allow you to "let it go". Enjoy and revel in this special time you have with your babies. Enjoy and revel in your Compassion trip. Don't allow the evil one to rob you of all the joy you are supposed to receive during these days. Praying for you sweet one!
Mammy

Beth said...

praying for you, sweet girl, and loving you.

Lindsay said...

Sweet Amanda! I read your Blog all the time and rarely comment. I feel like if we knew each other we would be close friends! Anyway, I'm struggling with the same emotions you are right now about leaving my own precious family. In this case, it's my husband and I leaving our son. We are taking our first trip without him (who happens to be Jackson :) ) at the end of September, and I've already had a few meltdowns about leaving him. My biggest fear is that something would happen to my husband and myself and that we would leave him orphaned. I am a pretty big control freak and can't stand not having my own eyes on my child. I feel guilty for going on a trip (even though I know it will be good for us!) and wrestle with thoughts like if something happens to my child it's because I was away on a pleasure trip...etc etc etc. Guilt, guilt, guilt. Anyway, all that to say...your post encouraged me today. I'm also thankful to know I'm not the only ones having these thoughts! :) I have to remember that in the end, no matter who is taking care of my son (even when it's me), it is the Lord who is truly taking care of/protecting him. I can control so little.I think about how I am always thinking ten steps ahead as a mom...always thinking about the needs of my sweet boy. I would never leave him in a situation where his needs were not met. I know that as much as I love my child, my Heavenly Father loves him (and me) far more. I have to rest in that or I'll go crazy. Or should I say craziER. ;) Praying for you. You are a blessing to so many!

spiritmom said...

So you won't think I'm crazy if I tell you I refuse to fly anywhere with my husband leaving our children behind for fear of the plane crashing and leaving them orphans? Seriously. I am so dumb for thinking that, but I do.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Oh, Amanda. We are so similar in ways I hadn't even realized yet.

I'm doing an awful lot of emoting lately, too. I want to carry around a copy of my lab report showing extremely "wrong" levels of estrogen and testosterone to convince everyone that I'm really not a roller coaster! :)

Amy Bennett said...

Praying for your anxiety! So many things to wrestle with!

I love that line from So Long Insecurity. I have yet to read the book but that makes me want to. Thinking of how He would take us through brings such peace.

Patty said...

I am so tender about your friend DD. I feel the same about my mom with her brain cancer but her faith continues to be stronger and that in itself is a testimony of God's grace and compassion and love.

I completely understand about your concerns over your family when you are not around. I started going through anxiety really bad when my second son got his car and began driving alone. I was a mess. I worried about everything and vain imaginations about him didn't help. It was a daily struggle that I fought in prayer and pleading for God to deliver me. It was a 3 month period but one day God led me to Psalm 121. It set me free. I cannot thank Him enough. I am praying for you as you travel and for your sweet family.
Love you.

Dionna said...

I really can relate to your wave of anxiety and the fears that overtake you. I fight them all of the time. I fought them when I went to Belgium with my husband and left my girls behind. Would something happen to them? Would something happen to me and my husband? I fought them when my girls flew WITH us to Panama! What if something happened on the plane and it was out of my control? I couldn't protect or save them?

I know those thoughts and fears well, Amanda. Everytime you come to my mind I will pray for you AND your family while you're in Guatemala. Because I understand.

Heather said...

I am so thankful to you for sharing this. I think most of us wives and mothers suffer from anxiety over the fear of our husband and/or children taken away. I am praying that God will give you complete peace and that He will keep your family (and you) safe.

Erin said...

Our God is enough. Praying for you, Amanda!

Marla Taviano said...

I love you so much, girl. Emoting with you. The part about D.D. really got to me. I'm so sorry. And I'm praying hard for your trip. Where is your dad? I feel like I need to go get him for you. Love you!!

Traci said...

I have been known to also not let my family be in the car without me. I suffer huge guilt over this as I would not let my husband drive my kids 3 hours to see his mother the weekends I worked. Sadly, she died unexpectedly and I regret the times they missed with her. Thank you for the verses. I'm sorry for your current suffering. You are in my prayers.

Marc and Charity said...

I'm right there with you. And praying for you!

Rhonda said...

My heart breaks for you as I have been there (about a lot of it). Praying for you. Psalm 4:8 has brought me a great deal of peace.

Ashley N said...

We all struggle with worry and fear it seems. I know I do. When I went through your mom's study of Esther last year, I remember one of the weeks lessons being on that very subject and how to overcome it and let it go. I refer back to that lesson often because there is so much truth in what she spoke. Like you said, you kind of have to take those worries full circle and let them play out in your head, and know that in the end, God's endless mercy, grace, and providence will be right there and be enough, no matter what happens. It's still hard though, I know! Praying for you...mean it.

Sara S. said...

Although you don't know me, I feel as if we are kindred spirits! So many of your posts feel like pages right out of my journey. All of last week was a week of "emoting"...like that word! As I read your last struggle though, I just wanted to reach out and give you a hug! I am a full time missionary in Guatemala, and I feel like my greatest struggle is the desire/worry to keep my family safe...safe from illness, accidents, violence, ultimately death...I want to keep them all tucked in next to me at all times so that they are okay. When my husband leaves for hours or just for a few minutes, I am praying the whole time (and worrying) until I see his handsome face again. Whenever those moments threatened to steal my joy (and my right mind), and I think of the beautiful wife and mother in Proverbs 31 laughing at the days to come. I sure am not to the laughing state, but I must learn to trust. I can't wait to hear about your trip to our beautiful country here as well as how it will change you even more into being even more of a godly wife and mama! Blessings sister!

Adrienne said...

Wow. I have been struggling with so much of the same thing. I am 33 weeks pregnant with my third child and I know a lot of it is hormones, but I am so emotional, and so scared of losing my family too. I am also struggling with why devastating things happen to such Godly people... Don't know if you have followed Kaci Ronne's blog... I don't know her, but she passed away this weekend. Mother of 3 very young children. Why?
I agree though... God is faithful and we won't understand or comprehend on this side of eternity. But I, like you, do everything I can to "control" it.

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Amanda. I can totally relate to your worry over being away from your children and not being in control of their safety. I have really been struggling with this recently with my own kids. I know that I need to not worry and trust God that he will keep them safe, but it is so hard. It helps me to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this.

Jenny said...

I so can relate. The fear can be paralyzing, despite how I know it to be often irrational. All you wrote I feel often. Glad to know I'm not alone.

AKat said...

I get it, the whole emoting thing.

I am praying for your trip, Amanda, and for your sweet family you're leaving behind.

Michelle Bentham said...

"This is when I can recall the joy and hope of Christ that I see in my dear D.D., who has been through so much, and know that God's love and faithfulness are real."

Amanda,

My heart is with you as I pray for your upcoming trip and time away from your family. I posted the last line you wrote in your post because it so resonates with my experience with my worst confessed fear. God's love and God's faithfulness are real... So real.

It has been a little more than five years since my son's home-going and my season of grief has been over as my healing came the weekend of the Siesta Fest in SA 2008.

Still, I remember that time in my life when I spent my days worrying about my son trying to protect him from himself, a fallen world and an enemy who quite frankly came against him with every weapon in hell's arsenal. And when that day came... When the phone call leading to those unimaginably painful 8 days in the hospital and my final surrender in prayer, "Lord, just have mercy on my son and give me peace to accept it."

He delivered - I never questioned why Justin had to die that day. I questioned a lot of things, but never God. He stayed right with me and He has shown me so much through these five years since that sunny afternoon when Jesus beckoned my child to heaven for safe-keeping.

Still, I have two beautiful girls who are very much alive, a husband who loves me deeply and two step-children I love bunches. I could not be more blessed. And, I know whatever God allows, He will make provision for just as He has done with my Justin. Life on the other side of my worst confessed fear becoming a reality is remarkably different, but I am better for it.

Your words here have taken me back to places I have not remembered in a while.

I'll be praying for you and your sweet bundles of joy and that man of yours while you are away. I will also pray that the distractions of the enemy would subside so you may fully experience the remarkable things that await you in your time away.

You are a blessings, I pray you continue to be blessed by His goodness.

Blessings.

Hollie said...

I'm a master worrier, if I do say so myself. And, I've convinced myself many times before that my worrying actually serves to prevent harm from befalling those I love. The enemy surely loves to use this all-consuming state of mind (especially on us women) to stop any potential joy we might experience in it's tracks.

Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest on this blog. Though the worry that we can all so easily relate to is not a good thing in itself, the realization that so many others out there are battling it, too, is comforting in a "let's beat this thing together" kind of way.

Kari said...

I understand your concerns and fears completely. You are not alone in your way of thinking and your worrying. However, how wonderful that you have the wisdom and the faith to try and move beyond your fears and accept God's will - in reality we have no other choice and it just uses up so much darn energy anyways! My prayer for you tonight is comfort and peace of mind!

Uncanny Colleen said...

Oh, Sweetheart! I can't tell you how similar some of my own cries have been to those you have honestly confessed before your bloggity friends!

I am sure that you meet 80 gazillion ladies all of the time, but I was the one in Curtis' LIT class that was pregnant at the same time that you were with Annabeth.

Last October, I went on a two week mission trip to Butare, Rwanda. So, at that time, Caleb had just turned 8 months old. In the weeks before my trip, I would go from elated with anticipation to bawling my eyes out and begging Larry to help me get out of it! Like you, I was not afraid of being in a foreign country, being abducted or persecuted for my faith. Nope! All of that would have been fine with me. I was HORRIFIED of letting go of the illusion of control that I thought that I had over my family. The thought that I wouldn't be there with them through each moment of the day was nearly crippling.

All of that to say...you have some sisters out here that know how to be praying for you as you prepare to go.

And, I promise that I will also pray for protection for your husband and precious children!

Isaiah 26:3...Isaiah 26:3...Isaiah 26:3

***I didn't say it before, but I am so very glad that I went on the trip to Rwanda. It was a life/heart changing experience. You will be glad that you pressed on and went, even when it takes every ounce of strength that you have to keep your hiney in the seat of the plane! I posted pictures from my trip in November of 2009...if your interested!***

Tara G. said...

I totally get (D). We're not taking a trip for our 10 yr. because we can't deal with leaving the kids here in Kyiv without us (it also has something to do with a botched cast removal on my 4 yr old- left minus the cast but with stitches). Was it in the Esther study that your mom kept taking a fear further with the questions, "then what?" and in the end, God was still there despite the worst possible outcomes? That was profound to me. Praying for you!

aggiejenn said...

I know DD in real life, but I didn't meet him until after his accident. You have honored him so much with your words. His family is one of the sweetest families I know, and this post made me sad because not that we're living overseas I can't see them on a regular basis. Life is just hard, you know. No matter what, there's no getting around it. I pray God's peace will rush over you as you prepare to leave for Guatemala; I know that fear of being away from your family. My husband and I will be in a separate country from our boys for a while in October, and I know I will have some of these same thoughts.

thegypsymama said...

Oh Girl - reaching across this big ol' Internet to hug you tight, tight and looking forward to doing it in person next week. You are not alone in your fears. This is the nature of an eternal heart, I think, that was never intended for death or separation. We ache for the permanence of relationship we had in the Garden. And it affects every part of our lives today.

Praying the God who walked in the Garden will walk with you as you board that plane!

See you in DFW!
~Lisa-Jo

Joyce said...

I know you know but I just wanted to say that this area of anxiety you feel is something I have struggled with greatly. I have a list of verses I call up when the wave starts to come crashing down. I say them over and over and it is true that His word brings peace.

I appreciate you putting this into words because I think many, if not most. moms deal with this and we are almost to afraid to put a voice to it.

Safe travels and may the blessings abound as you make your Compassion trip!

KM said...

Amanda, powerful thoughts. Powerful words. I struggle with some of these same fears...and a precious lot of my own even "crazier" fears. And you are right...it is out of our control. And if the unthinkable happens, God will be with us, thru it all. Thank you for having the courage to put your fears out there. It helps us all to see how similar we are...and reminds us all not to let the Devil get a foothold by the secret fears we carry. There is power in our words...even those we speak to get rid of!

Bobbie said...

You have such a beautiful heart & I think 'emoting' every once in awhile is good for the soul. (Your Dad needs to write a book!)Being the wife of a career pilot and two beautiful children, I understand the fear of not being able to protect our loved ones while we're away. It's a difficult struggle to have, but I think as Moms many of us feel that way.

I'm praying for you & your family as you prepare for your trip, that you will have a blessed time serving others and that God will wrap his loving arms around your family in your absence.

Lindsey Nobles said...

I'm sorry Amanda that is a lot to process. A lot. I will be praying for you...that you will feel joy, freedom and security. Can't wait sit down face to face, talk Texas, hear about the wonderful family that you've left in God's care, and experience Guatemala.

Kari said...

So can relate to your fears about something happening to your family!! Boy have I been there and obsessed over letting them get in a car without me!! In the past couple years though that fear has gotten much better - I have not been obsessing way as much. I wish I could say it is because I have grown in my faith and trust God more. I was thinking about it after reading your post - I really think it is because as my daughter is now entering the jr. high years I realize there are worse things than death. At the young age death seemed like the big enemy -- now there are so many horrible addictions out there just waiting to trap my daughter that sometimes you think death could be a better alternative than a lifetime of drugs, alcohol, rejecting Christ, etc. That probably sounds awful but I think that is what has caused me to fear my families death less....

Laura said...

Boy, This resonated with me. In the last three years I have lost my Grandma ( my Granddad several years before her) My mother, and just last week my father. I am 35. I have my husband and boys but I am essentially an orphan...(this sounds strange at 35...but feels true). I am petrified that I will loose someone else...petrified. I trust the Lord for Grace but oh how I hope I will not need it.

Erin said...

sister...I bet your time with D.D. meant so much to him, and even more to his Mom. Even though he may not remember it right now, I'm sure he wrote it down and I PROMISE you it has left a smile on his Mom's face. You're a sweet friend! When I think about all that happened that summer after graduation, it's just too much...Molly then D.D. it was like we got a crash course in reality, that was such a hard summer. I love you girl!

lavonda said...

Amanda, I'll will be praying over your family while you're away. I've felt exactly as you described. It's gotten a little easier as they've gotten older (they're 13 and 9 now), but I'm very particular about who I let them ride with, or go for playdates with, etc. You know what's gotten worse in me though as they've gotten older? The exact opposite: the huge fear of what if something happens to me and then they're raised without their mama. I almost can't bear to type the words. I know it's Satan and my own flesh putting those thoughts in my head, and I know He tells me to be anxious for nothing, yet I still have those feelings of fear. I give it to God daily. It feels vulnerable putting such deep thoughts into words... I love your heart and your realness. You'll most certainly be in my prayers too this coming week. Looking forward to reading what you experience next week on the Compassion site too.
much love.

Diana said...

Amanda, I have been emoting a lot in the last few weeks. Lately, I have received so much encouragement from your blog. While I have not known some of the specifics of what you are struggling with, your honestly about your struggles blesses me. I had to stop blogging because the struggles in my life were too personal to share with the whole world. Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of close friends or family around to emote with, so I have felt very isolated. Thank you for providing me encouragement!

Sallie Belle said...

I struggled with those same feelings of family loss when I was first married. My Father had passed away as my husband and I met. It was just ten months before my wedding. Each day as my husband left for work I feared the worst. He had a health issue a few months into our marriage, nothing great, but yet a overwhelming fear. I have lost many friends and family to quick and unecessary death. It all can be overwhelming. I am so grateful that this Summer when my 14 year old daughter traveled to Honduras for the first time, I was living in faith not fear. Those things do make you think.

Mommy Dot Com said...

I struggle with this. One of the things God told me that helped was, there is a time for all things. Don't mourn when it is time to rejoice. If He is currently providing rest then we should be thankful and to enjoy that gift. Death is hard enough to endure once. He would never want us to endure it time and time again.

At the same time I think it is wise to realize how desperate we are. You are weeping with those who weep and that's refining. God is near to the broken-hearted. He will carry you through this vulnerable time.

I just flew to FL not too long ago and I went through something similar. I even booked a flight for my daughter to join me. But God did comfort me in that place. He knows how to teach us not to be afraid.

Renee said...

Amanda ...

I sent my oldest to high school yesterday. After 8 years at a small, private school where I teach, I sent her off into the "big bad world of public high school." (I say this with a smile!) She came home with her chin quivering and spent much of the night in tears. I wanted to fall in a heap on the floor and cry, too. This morning began where yesterday left off. It just about killed me to not be there to show her the way and help her figure things out. (She is currently avoiding her locker because she can't work the lock!!) All I could pray all day was, "Jesus, I can't go with her, but you can." It was the only thing that brought me comfort. Today she hopped in the car with a big smile and lots of stories to share. Yes, God was walking the halls of high schools around the world today. Thank God that even when you are not with your own loved ones, Jesus is!

You are precious!

Carolyn said...

Oh sweet sister, Biggest hugs, I can hear the pain and tears in your words and have many times cried them too. I too struggle with fear of what I cant control everytime my husband travels for work, everytime my toddler goes back into hospital. It is that love in you that breaks your heart at the possibility of harm to those you so deeply love. I cvan only say one thing that i have found- Use EVERY anxious moment as a trigger to pray- this has kept me sane and from owning a tissue factory. I have been so deeply encouraged by looking at the other responses and seeing that I am not alone. I do think it is trick the enemy likes to whisper in our ear and bring us pain.
I am excited to hear how God will use you in your Compassion trip and I will be standing with you & these other dear sisters in prayer for God's protection over your family as you travel.
Together we stand in Him,
Biggest hugs
C

Sarah said...

I'll be praying for you. God dealt with me big time a few years ago over fear issues. Specifically fear of losing a child. I could almost hear my "please don't let this happen" prayer bouncing right back to me and finally the answer came as God spoke to my heart: I will give you exactly as much grace as you need to get through any situation in your life. But you can't work through all the "what ifs" in your imagination....you have imagined the situation therefore my grace and stength to deal with that is not available to you....because it's not real. Then he brought to mind many of the places in the Bible that says...."fear not" and He reminded me (continues to remind me often) that it's a command....not optional. Fear is hard stuff and it steals our joy so we can't enjoy what we have been given. We are too busy trying to play out very painful "what if's" in out mind. P.S. he is still dealing with me on this.

The Johnsons said...

When I saw D.D. Sunday morning I shared with him that I got to do bible study with you this summer. He instantly pulled his notebook out and wrote it down with a smile. It was evident he thinks just as much of you as you do him. Your words honor the man he was yesterday and still is today.

Praying for your trip and can't wait to hear about it. You're not alone in your worries for your family. When I start to get anxious about these things I just remind myself that God is love = Perfect love drives out fear. My flesh doesn't always believe it but it's what I cling to.

Fran said...

You are being covered in prayer friend. The Lord has brought you to mind so many times lately and I'm just praying over these things that you mentioned.....safety, health, etc. Without a doubt you will change the lives of others by going on this trip and I praise His Name for it.

Love,
Fran

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

Praying for you sweet girl I battled with fear alot also and it stops me dead in my tracks but I have read in the comments about the Esther study and I went thru that study and in chapter 4 your mom talked about fear that in the bible it is mention 365 times DO NOT BE AFRAID and your mom mention that there is one for each day 365 times DO NOT BE AFRAID and every once in awhile I listen to chapter 4 again because I am fearful of flying and I have a plane ticket out there that I need to use before Jan 2011 or lose 300.00 dollars. So today I made resevations to go to Florida in Oct 2010 so Please pray for me as I will pray for you as you are away. Thanks Amanda you help us seista's keep on keeping on love you and May Our Sweet Lord be with you.
Carol

Ashley said...

Amanda, I have tears welling up now too; I have precious memories of Molly for the short time I knew her in H.S. and so admired D.D. I'm so glad you had lunch with him; I know that meant so much to him. I will pray for your fears about leaving your sweet family because I have SO battled those same thoughts that circle round and round. Praying for you and the amazing journey you're about to leave on. I hope our paths meet up someday; I would love to visit. :)

Michelle said...

Amanda, it appears to me that you are having one particularly tough year. I have very little, if any, understanding of God's ways, but I'm seriously thinking that He is taking you on your very own major journey with Him. I believe with all my heart that He will be teaching you something profound. I do so hope that you follow in your Mama's footsteps and share some nuggets of truth with us, gleaned directly from the loving hands of our Lord. Everything you've been going through lately can't be just a string of coincidental turmoil. God has something wonderful up His Holy sleeves for you.....I am SURE of it! Hang in there!

WendyB said...

Seriously, as I read your post and the comments, it's a wonder we're all not drowning from the level of tears we're all shedding. What water shortage?
I was paralyzed by that fear you describe the whole time my daughter was growing up; I knew, I knew, too. But that mothering instinct is fierce. Now God has led me, the Queen of all Chickens, to a new marriage, a new "career" as a pastor's wife and army wife, a move from my home of 30 years in SC (same church, friends, etc) to Seattle and then 6 months later to Germany; all while my only daughter spent the summer in Guatemala and has gone back to college renewed in her knowledge that God is calling her to teach internationally. In dangerous, corrupt Central America.
Where a 5'7" blond doesn't exactly blend in with the locals. Meanwhile, my husband's work brings us both into contact daily with injured, hurting, suffering soldiers and their families - it does seem like it's all too much, doesn't it? And like our small efforts are almost pointless compared to the hugeness of the needs? And many days, like we want to yell from our knees, "God, what were you THINKING?" Which is exactly the point - "My thoughts are not your thoughts, says the Lord." Wish I had wisdom for all of us - actually your mom and your dad have gracious plenty - you're blessed to have them. Just know you're not alone in your feelings.

katiegfromtennessee said...

Hey Amanda, I've been reading your posts I've missed...I've been wrestling with questions like yours too. I read one of the newer reports of Voice of the Martyrs. It is apparent that Christians are not exempt from suffering or extreme suffering..I just keep coming back to "in Him there is light, and there is no darkness at all" and "He gives a greater grace" Sin's effects are devastating, but He is coming back. These are things I tell myself, don't know what else to do...I'm finding that I think that my view of Him needs to be truer to Who He is, and what His Word says about Him.

Shari said...

Amanda,
I've been praying for you since reading this post a couple of days. I had two pictures that came to mind...one was of meat being marinated and the other was of clay on a potters wheel with water being slowly dripped on it as the wheel spun. My sense was that the Lord was preparing your heart with all of these pain filled events to prepare you for your trip to Guatemala. You have such a tender heart that shows through again and again. May he touch you in such a way that you will never be the same again...and may all those who read have ears to hear and spirits to respond to all that you communicate. Bless you as you go in the peace of Christ and the confidence that in Him all things hold together - including the precious Jones family in your absence!

annalee said...

oh amanda, emoting it is. what a perfect word that is. i will be adding to my vocabulary. thank you amanda's dad.

i met d.d. at camp the august before we all started college. we were in a small group together and became instant friends. as camp has a way of doing, it felt like we had known each other much longer than just a month when his accident happened.

i am thankful for his life and the way he shared Christ's love before AND after his accident. thank you for you sharing about your visit with him.

may God give you peace as you prepare for your upcoming compassion trip!

Renee Swope said...

We share the same greatest fear. Your heart speaks my language. I love your willingness to let us know we are not alone in our anxious thoughts and sometimes paralyzing fears. I use to worry that if I didn't worry then who would? And if I wasn't thinking about it all the time, then God wouldn't be either. Thanks for reminding me where to take my worries - through the cycle to the provision of His Grace. Praying for you and for your most treasured ones.

Jill_in_AL said...

I'm an occassional reader here and basically never post BUT I, too, share your horror about my husband two kids driving seperate from me. I cringe and say a prayer every single time. Even when I may meet my mom and my kids ride in her car somewhere it catches my stomach. Totally get that and will be praying for you as you bravely travel in Jesus' name.

KJ said...

I know that feeling, like you need to controll the safety of your loved ones, and it can be peralizing! I know this is a past post, but I will hold you in my prayers as I pray daily reagarding this issue that I too bare.

Kelli said...

You are not alone.

I did not know even how to comment when I first read this it hit home in my heart and core so hard.

Love you because of the tender heart God gave you to love that family fiercely!